The Regional Materials Management Facility provides efficient, environmentally responsible disposal of non-hazardous solid waste for Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties. The state- of-the-art, double-lined landfill facility opened in 1992 and operates in full compliance with all applicable New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulations. The regional landfill accepts waste from permitted and approved haulers and does not take waste from individual residents.
Early in its history one of the Authority’s biggest challenges was to tackle the issue of safe, environmentally conscious waste disposal for the region. At the time, the region was facing population growth due the expansion of Fort Drum and the closure of many traditional municipal “dumps” that could no longer meet environmental guidelines. Working with its regional county partners, the Authority developed the regional landfill to help municipalities meet their waste disposal needs. Currently, about 200 of the site’s 1,500 acres are in use. Due to the numerous safeguards built into the landfill’s liner system, in 28 years of operation at the site, the containment system has never been compromised.
The regional landfill is located in the Town of Rodman in Jefferson County, and the town receives host community revenue-sharing payments from the Development Authority.
The beautiful, heavily wooded site is home to an abundance of wildlife which the public can enjoy on two, year-round recreational walking/hiking trails.
Reuse and Recycling
Over time it became apparent that the environmentally responsible operation of the landfill would also require a strong regional waste diversion plan to incorporate recycling and reuse into waste disposal. With its landfill partners Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties and the City of Watertown, the Authority has undertaken a number of recycling initiatives. The website, www.NorthCountryRecycles.org serves as a resource for residents and educators, to help them reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Successful reduction, reuse and recycling of waste cuts down on the materials going into the landfill, maintaining this resource for future generations. Each of the county partners are responsible for their recycling; no recyclables go to the regional landfill.
An outstanding example of the reuse of a waste product is the methane gas-to-energy plant on the landfill site. It’s a public/private partnership between the Development Authority and a private developer, Aria Energy, to use the methane gas generated by the disposal of waste in the landfill to produce electricity. The partnership achieves compliance for methane gas destruction while producing revenue that is shared with the host community of Rodman.
Over the last two years, the Development Authority has launched new recycling initiatives for hardcover books, mattresses and tires. See the North Country Recycles website for more information.
These photos show the new section of the landfill under construction. The right side of the photos show
where the current working face of the landfill is.
Work on the extension of the regional landfill began in earnest in 2019. At current usage rates, the landfill is expected to be at capacity within a few years, necessitating an extension in order to continue to provide reliable, environmentally sound disposal services for residents and businesses.
The new landfill cells are being constructed just to the south of the current landfill working area. In 2019, the foundation for the new cells began, involving significant excavation. This year grading will be completed and the liner for two cells in the new portion of the landfill will be installed. A leachate pumping station to serve the new cells will be finished this year, along with a replacement storage building. Additionally, capping is continuing on a 13-acre portion of the current landfill. The new landfill cells are expected to start accepting selected waste later this year.
Another significant project the Authority has undertaken is the development of a Regional Recycling Transfer Station in Harrisville. Centrally located for the three counties, our county partners will be able to bring their single-stream recyclables to the site where they will be compacted and transported to Syracuse or Utica for processing. The intent is to help reduce the cost of transporting recyclables for our county partners. The facility was dedicated in November, 2019, and test runs are being made in early 2020. The facility will be fully operational in 2020.